Risky business: capacity-building in collaborative research

Midgley, Warren and Danaher, Patrick Alan ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2289-7774 (2010) Risky business: capacity-building in collaborative research. In: Sustaining synergies: collaborative research and researching collaboration. Post Pressed, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 25-36. ISBN 978-1-921214-74-5

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The concept of capacity-building, originating in studies of economic development, operates as a powerful metaphor in arguments promoting collaborative research in education. This chapter interrogates the concept of capacity-building in that context by exploring the apparent contradiction of seeking to promote collaborative research in an increasingly competitive research funding environment, and then by raising ethical questions relating to who might control capacity-building agendas, and who might benefit from capacity-building endeavours. Drawing upon our experiences together in a number of differently sized collaborative research teams, we argue against a deficit conceptualisation of capacity-building that sees individual researchers as partly empty vessels that need filling. Rather, capacity-building through collaborative research is conceptualised as a process of empowering, equipping, informing and inspiring one another to continue to explore new dimensions in one another’s respective fields of interest. This view resonates with so-called capability approaches that conceptualise capacity-building as a “kind of freedom” (Sen, 1999). We contend that embracing this conceptualisation of capacity-building has the potential to enhance the quality and quantity of research outcomes, but also involves a certain degree of risk that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 3. Accepted version deposited with blanket permission of publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2011 02:56
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2018 04:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: capacity-building; collaboration; research; risk
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190302 Professional Writing
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220107 Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/9169

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